Historic BJR photos discoveredBryan J. Rollins·FollowMay 18--2ListenShareIn helping organise Mom’s apartment last year, I found a number of photos that I scanned in so I could have copies. Here are some parts of “The Story of BJR” in photos:Baby BJR. Born in Anchorage, Alaska, but then shortly flown home to King Salmon, Alaska. Apparently quite colic-stricken, Baby BJR kept the entire family awake for months screaming at night. Though he looks quite happy here. Note that I still think this could be my brother given the ginger tint of the hair but I’ve been told it’s me.I refused to go sit on Santa’s lap, until Mom told me it was Dad. Dad was built like me so he must have been one skinny, boney Santa.My brother left for college when I was 4, so there are not a lot of early pictures of us together. I love this one, sitting next to each other, looking down into the Grand Canyon. Later on in life my brother would fly me to Dallas to watch a Dallas Cowboys game, maybe the most memorable thing anyone ever did for me as a child.This kid dresses better than his future adult self ever will. Whenever I need to show myself compassion, this is the mental image I use, and this is the version of Bryan that I talk to, and tell him everything is going to be alright. Even if this whole colour scheme is horrendous.My brother and sister both had a husky (and before I was born my Dad had a whole team in Ft. Yukon). They were gorgeous and kind dogs though they were also exceptional escape artists.Clearly this is where my bad boy reputation began, at Bristol Bay High School / Elementary School. A tough stance in the hallway — would anyone dare come through my hallway at school? My identity from age 6–12 was “Dallas Cowboys fanatic.”It’s ridiculous how I grew up around such amazing mountains, rivers, and lakes. Every time I return to Alaska I can’t believe I grew up here. In some ways, it’s wasted on kids who are wondering when they will get back home to play with their X-wing fighter. Not a euphemism.I went to a summer camp of sorts at Ridgecrest, North Carolina. It was very church oriented and I thought most of the kids there were giant tools.Dad loved fishing, so I went fishing a lot. Once we moved to Chugiak — Eagle River, a suburb Anchorage, we stopped salmon fishing and started halibut fishing out of Deep Creek near Ninilchik. Most summers I spent a lot of time as cabin boy. Note the classy Dallas Cowboys jumper I’m wearing.This kid has it. You know what it is. Does this kid have any non-Dallas clothing? Is my sister’s perm gigantic? Do I remember who these other people are? (Carol was my sister’s college friend and those are her parents.)Well, this is awkward. Okay, the entire period from 11–14 years of age was awkward. Adolescence was not kind to a kid who didn’t understand peer pressure or social dynamics or how to be cool. Note: Hidden by the jacket, there is a Dallas Cowboys logo on the shirt.He’s only 17. Nominated to be on the honor guard for the Senior Class of Chugiak High School when I was a junior, I had started experimenting with bleaching my hair. This contrast with my incredibly white skin had lots of strange consequences.The graduate. A senior at the end of the heavy metal / mullet era, you can just see the lower-neck-length hair that is pinned back for my Senior Class picture. Believe it or not, the ladies were not lined up to date 18 year old BJR.